live: Oklahoma coronavirus confirmed cases: 1,472; 67 dead

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Thunder: Injury won't cost Hamidou Diallo spot in rotation

Thunder coach Billy Donovan promised Hamidou Diallo that a spot in the rotation will be waiting for him when he returns from injury. 

Diallo will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks after suffering a hyperextension sprain in his right elbow last Friday against the Lakers. 

“I think for any young player, the concern always for those guys is where am I gonna fit in, how am I gonna fit in when I come back? Am I behind the eight ball? And that’s not the case for our team,” Donovan said. “We need Hami, and I told him that when he comes back, we’re gonna put him right back into the rotation.” 

The 21-year-old guard was making considerable improvements in his second season. Diallo’s minutes jumped from 10.3 per game as a rookie to 21.3 as a sophomore. 

Diallo is shooting 50 percent from the field this season, up from 45.5 percent last year. The former second-round pick averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 12 games before his injury. 

“Generally, players make the biggest jump from their first year to their second year,” Donovan said. “He clearly has made a really big jump. I feel bad for him, but when he does come back, there’s still gonna be a lot of games left to play. We just gotta make sure that mentally and physically he’s in a good place that we can help him continue to develop.” 

Related Photos
Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a dunk during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma CIty Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.  [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a dunk during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma CIty Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-36f08e5934a80ac734ce2469686ddf01.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a dunk during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma CIty Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a dunk during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma CIty Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a dunk during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma CIty Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7fd4eeb40e1852aa4179c8996940b5a4.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, left, lays up a shot past Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, left, lays up a shot past Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, left, lays up a shot past Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2dec8f0c2552c0c299b5254bd6e566a2.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, center, drives the ball between Golden State Warriors' Willie Cauley-Stein, left, and Glenn Robinson III (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, center, drives the ball between Golden State Warriors' Willie Cauley-Stein, left, and Glenn Robinson III (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, center, drives the ball between Golden State Warriors' Willie Cauley-Stein, left, and Glenn Robinson III (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-84685c66844f4ab357830585a816f50e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, left, lays up a shot past Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, left, lays up a shot past Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, left, lays up a shot past Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f9b8c8b17ec24c7a951863742414017c.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, left, lays up a shot past Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, left, lays up a shot past Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, left, lays up a shot past Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ffa5845a02956bde7441f9d31226dca1.jpg" alt="Photo - Golden State Warriors' Omari Spellman, left, defends against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Deonte Burton (30) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Golden State Warriors' Omari Spellman, left, defends against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Deonte Burton (30) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Golden State Warriors' Omari Spellman, left, defends against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Deonte Burton (30) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0a7bcb14f86362a062542ebeab85fff0.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Deonte Burton, right, rebounds the ball from Golden State Warriors' Omari Spellman (4) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Deonte Burton, right, rebounds the ball from Golden State Warriors' Omari Spellman (4) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Deonte Burton, right, rebounds the ball from Golden State Warriors' Omari Spellman (4) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-34a9bdb238a16c4840848e3c23f83f19.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, center, shoots between Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks, left, and Glenn Robinson III (22) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, center, shoots between Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks, left, and Glenn Robinson III (22) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, center, shoots between Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks, left, and Glenn Robinson III (22) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2549777004af2f8882e00a969b133a30.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, right, drives the ball against Golden State Warriors' Jordan Poole (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, right, drives the ball against Golden State Warriors' Jordan Poole (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, right, drives the ball against Golden State Warriors' Jordan Poole (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e0910625ec4d99ffb457565e3ada088b.jpg" alt="Photo - Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks, left, drives the ball around Oklahoma City Thunder forward Terrance Ferguson (23) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks, left, drives the ball around Oklahoma City Thunder forward Terrance Ferguson (23) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Golden State Warriors' Alec Burks, left, drives the ball around Oklahoma City Thunder forward Terrance Ferguson (23) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-795d54660c1f0c27d7d5c6c5a3cda20f.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) celebrates with Nerlens Noel, left, and Terrance Ferguson (23) at the end of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) celebrates with Nerlens Noel, left, and Terrance Ferguson (23) at the end of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) celebrates with Nerlens Noel, left, and Terrance Ferguson (23) at the end of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-39d7575bb3393d95deafd839bc46f83c.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) celebrates at the end of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) celebrates at the end of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) celebrates at the end of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-26ab1d9fae06a77c1f53440f79c38ce7.jpg" alt="Photo - Golden State Warriors' Ky Bowman, right, drives the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, left, in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Golden State Warriors' Ky Bowman, right, drives the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, left, in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Golden State Warriors' Ky Bowman, right, drives the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, left, in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-cf2ca3d36e3e76d8d578fd614ce3180a.jpg" alt="Photo - Golden State Warriors' Omari Spellman, right, shoots against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Steven Adams (12) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)" title="Golden State Warriors' Omari Spellman, right, shoots against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Steven Adams (12) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)"><figcaption>Golden State Warriors' Omari Spellman, right, shoots against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Steven Adams (12) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)</figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

Comments